Jim Ludwick of the Albuquerque Journal has an eye-opening story about the metro courthouse case and lobbyists for architects who bid on government contracts. Ken Shultz played this role, along with that of bagman, in Manny's courthouse deal.
I'm having a hard time seeing a legitimate purpose for architects' lobbyists in procurement. They simply don't have a role in the process defined by the State Procurement Code. Period.
But the Journal story tells us it is considered commonplace and good business sense.
For example, Design Collaborative Southwest got help from another former public official— Tom Rutherford— in getting the contract for the Barbara and Bill Richardson Pavilion, an addition to the University of New Mexico Hospital. ... He was a county commissioner for two terms, through the end of 2004, the year the hospital project was approved.
The hospital was constructed by the University but the County was involved as part land owner and co-financier. Did anyone know he was a lobbyist then? How would we have known?
The closing quotes by Joe Craig (lobbyist-for-architects-so-he-should-know) are the best part of the story. His sentiment captures the problem perfectly and sums up how many feel.
... but if the people doing the checks and balances are in on the deal, how do you catch them until after the fact— if ever? Those deals are done behind closed doors and you don't know about it. You just do your best, ....
Sometimes... you know the players, you suspect things aren't on the up-and-up and you stay away from it. You go do something else....
Make a martini. Read some blogs.